Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, the 19th and seemingly the last NPP Presidential aspirant to announce his bid, appears to believe in the Akan saying Paul amma ntem, n’anso osen adikanfo (Paul, who though a late convert surpassed the earlier ones).
The biblical ma-xim says that though Paul never met Christ and was a late convert, he turned out to be the most prolific messenger of Christianity.
Dr. Adjei-Barwuah, who is Ghana’s ambassador to Japan told the Times that he will pick his nomination forms tomorrow, October 2. Most of the other aspirants hit the campaign trail months ago.
On his apparent late entry into the race, Dr. Adjei-Barwuah said, on the contrary, the actual battle has just begun.
'Under the rules and traditions of the party, the contest started last Saturday, September 22, when nominations were opened.
'As a proper party man, who understands the rules and traditions of the party, I have to play according to the rules,' he said.
While conceding that other aspirants had gained considerable mileage on the campaign trail, Dr. Adjei-Bawuah said the option available to him was to 'double up'.
'It is not always the number of hours you put in, but what you put in those hours,' he stressed.
'I am not perturbed by the handicap of time. What it takes is for the grass roots of the party to recognise the kind of intent and objectives that a candidate articulates,' he said.
So far he said he has met with potential delegates of the party from the Central, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions.
Dr. Adjei-Barwuah, who has served as chairman of the United Kingdom Branch of the NPP for 10 years, said his vision is to strengthen the party by making it an effective instrument for governance and to secure the development fortunes of the country.
In his view, it is the party that makes electoral promises and not the President, who has a limited term, hence the need to build a strong party.
Dr. Adjei-Barwuah said, Ghana is one of the few countries, that is endowed and has no reason to be poor, adding that it is therefore necessary for the country to reposition itself in the global scheme of things to be able to accelerate its development.
'Even though we are widely acclaimed to have made progress, we have to move faster. We cannot continue to be referred to as ‘developing’ for over 30 years. Things must change,' he said.
Dr. Adjei-Bar-wuah, said the country needs a leadership that will create the right environment that will lead to the review of attitude to work to secure the nation’s future.
'We cannot operate on the notion of business as usual and expect things to change,' he said.
He said the NPP on the basis of its performance in government, owes it to the country to ensure that there is continuous development, stability and security in the country. 'If we fail, we have failed ourselves and the nation and Ghanaians will not forgive us.'
It therefore requires a leader who appreciates the development of the country with the global context of development, he said.
Among the aspirants, he said he has the widest scope of experience as a lecturer, Chief Executive, Development Consultant and Ambassador, and therefore has what it takes to run a country.
For instance, he said, as Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourist Board for eight years he was responsible for the development of the tourism potential of the country and cited the La Beach Hotel as his brainchild.
He added that he was also a member of a committee, which drafted the learning works report, a blueprint on improving education in Britain.
'We can all lay claim to some ability but running a country is different,' he said.
He said it was through his instrumentality that the Japanese government converted an $81 million loan for the rehabilitation of the Mallam-Yamoransa road into a grant, a move which he said was contrary to Japan’s international development principle relating to HIPC countries.
Regarding the high number of aspirants in the NPP, he said, much as it was within the democratic right for anybody to contest, had the party machinery been strong enough a 'platoon of succession would have been groomed to contest for the slot and the current stampede would not be happening'.
But, he said, he is still in the race because 'you don’t leave to others, things you can do yourself'.